A recent study showed that Tetris can help reduce cravings for snacks, cigarettes and alcohol, but is there a deeper connection between video games and addiction?
Stories abound of people who have given their lives away to video games. Some folks even forgo money, education, and the pursuit of personal connections to stay connected to a game. But is there a deeper link between the addictive qualities of video games and the mind? According to a report from UPI, a recent study shows that while video games can be life consuming, they also can do some good towards helping people with other addictions.
The theory behind the connection is that the addictive qualities of video games can be harnessed to deter people from caving in to other, more harmful cravings, like smoking or snacking excessively. A recent study showed that people who played the classic arcade game Tetris for just a few minutes each day reported a significant drop in their cravings for snacks, soft drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, and even sex.
Video games are highly visually stimulating, and can distract the mind from imagining popping open a tube of Pringles or stepping outside for a quick cigarette. The researchers found that study participants who played Tetris for just three minutes after feeling a craving showed a 20 percent decrease over the course of the study.
The researchers also found that the effects of gaming didn’t wear off, successfully distracting the mind from submitting to urges to engage in unhealthy habits. The sample consisted of 31 subjects, and further studies will need to be carried out in order to better understand the link between addictions and video games.